In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Signs of the Times
From the September 15, 1928 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
[From an article by in the British Weekly, London, England]
The mark of a Christian man is kindness; and the finest kindness is that which forgives and seeks to help an enemy. It is also the hardest to reach. Suppose someone has injured us, what do we do? The impulse is to make him suffer for it in some way. But think out the result. To forgive may be hard, but to take revenge is no satisfaction. Think what happens when we pay back in his own coin one who has injured us. Do we feel really happy? Have we not lowered ourselves to his level and become like our enemy? Have we not also deepened the enmity? Revenge puts right no wrongs. The real way to conquer an enemy is to conquer his enmity; that is, to turn him into a friend. That was what Jesus meant by forgiveness. We think of it as letting a man off, refusing to take revenge or give tit for tat. Jesus meant something more. He said we must forgive until seventy times seven, that is, endlessly. What does that mean? We must let nothing a man has done stand in the way of our helping him if he needs it. We must not let his ill deed make us hate him or cease to befriend him. We must take every means of bringing him into friendship with us, for that is the way to cure him of his wrongdoing. How can we do that, how overcome our own anger and bitterness? We must think of the man who has done wrong, how he is to be pitied, how much he needs a loving spirit to change him. The moment we begin to think of how we can help him, we begin to forget our own injury and to overcome our own anger.
Christ [Jesus] forgave without limit all through his life. Think of what he suffered, and yet never took revenge even by word or scorn! He never ceased to love the people who hated him. … The hardest thing to forgive is treachery, and he forgave that. Note his prayer on the cross for forgiveness of his enemies, and also how in the case of the dying thief this forgiving love won its way to his heart and changed the man. But forgiveness may not mean letting people off the consequences; for example, the payment of a debt, the putting right of a wrong. Forgiveness always means thinking what will best help him to become a better man. That is God’s way. Nothing can stop His love for us. We may have to suffer, but God will be with us even there.
* Photo below – “Forgiven” – Courtesy of allposters.com